Women affected by violence have more warm clothing this winter thanks to a clothing drive by Assessment and Testing Services (ATS) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
After testing administrator Juliana Jenkins-Wilks suggested the idea to her co-workers, the team connected with Atira Women’s Resource Society in Surrey to find out which clothing items were in demand.
They set up collection boxes outside their test centres in Richmond, Langley and Surrey and started receiving donations almost right away. They also connected with friends and family in their communities who brought in bags of clothing. By the end of the drive they had 18 boxes of women’s clothing for Atira.
Thanking the ATS team, donations assistant Amanda Amboe says donors help Atira provide housing, counseling programs, outreach programs, legal advocacy and self-employment training.
“It is with your help that we are able to provide the support that we do to women and their children who have experienced the impact of violence or abuse in our community,” says Amboe. “Your commitment to helping women and children live free of violence is much appreciated, not only by Atira but also by those who access our services.”
The ATS department at KPU supports community employers by providing testing sites for certification exams, English proficiency exams for citizenship and provides a safe and secure site for students in the community to write their distance education exams, especially while studying remotely. The department regularly supports the community through its work at KPU and through personal volunteerism, but took it a step further this year by foregoing their annual team building event to help women in need instead.
“A lot of our team are socially connected in their communities and everyone agreed it was a fabulous initiative,” says ATS manager Catherine Siermacheski.
But she says the COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty about how successful the drive would be.
“I know people are wanting to do what they can right now and to help out in any way possible, but I didn't expect there would be enough people on campus to make this happen,” she adds.
“It was such a great initiative that worked out so well. As you can imagine, this time of year it's difficult to get warm clothing. Atira don't have a problem with getting children's clothing because everybody seems to be more than willing to donate that, but it's women's clothing that they are desperate for.”
Assessment and Testing Services thanked everyone at KPU who helped make the warm clothing drive a success. The team hope to continue donating in the future.
Learn more about Atira